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Giants players on the rise and fall heading into the second half

Corey Coleman saw an increase in offensive snaps and special teams snaps during the 27-23 New York Giants win over the San Francisco 49ers in Week 10, and according to head coach Pat Shurmur, this is only the beginning for the talented wide receiver.

Coleman was promoted to serve as the team’s primary kick returner where he shined with a key kick return to spark a scoring drive in the second half. He also saw an increase in offensive snaps — he was on the field for eight offensive plays. On one of his eight snaps, a third-and-long, Coleman did an excellent job breaking back to the football to come up with a massive first-down reception.

Shurmur has a plan for Coleman to get up to speed with the Giants’ offensive scheme, different audibles and checks, and everything else he missed out on learning by not being with the franchise during training camp and the majority of the first half of the 2018 regular season. There is still a lot to learn for Coleman, but Shurmur plans to maximize his talented skill set until then. Coleman’s role will grow every single week as he learns more, but it’s obvious what kind of impact he can make with his speed, route running, and natural ability.

“You forget that he’s only been here a couple of weeks, too,” Shurmur said to reporters Wednesday. “He had an impact on special teams. He had an impact in the game. That was a big – he caught the curl and that was a big catch so we’ll just keep getting him reps, getting him in there and most of our progressions and he’ll be involved. We’ll just see what kind of production he has.”

Shurmur spoke glowingly of Coleman’s skill set, work ethic, and overall upside — it sounds like it’s only a matter of time before he is promoted to the No. 3 wide receiver role full time as the boundary wide receiver in 11 personnel with Odell Beckham Jr. and Sterling Shepard. If he picks up the offense faster than expected, don’t be surprised if Coleman finds himself as one of just two wide receivers on the field (with Beckham) in specific offensive personnel groupings (21 personnel with fullback Elijhaa Penny, 12 personnel with both Rhett Ellison and Evan Engram).

“He’ll get in and he’s a very talented young man,” Shurmur said. “I’ve gained a fast appreciation for him. Very energetic, really into it, trying to learn everything, but again, much like RJ McIntosh when he came back he was a little behind. We’re just trying to get him going. The good thing about a receiver or really any skill on offense, you can use them as sort of a role player until he can handle the full load and that’s what we’ll do.”

Coleman has 4.37 40-yard dash speed and he adds a brand new element to the Giants offense. If the Giants can get him up to speed and playing a majority of offensive snaps, the next step is to attempt and hopefully connect on deep passing plays to Coleman. If the Giants can do that, opposing defenses will have to align completely different before and after the snap — this will open up more space underneath for players like Beckham, Sterling Shepard, Engram, and Saquon Barkley in the passing game.

Most importantly, Coleman has already made a major impact in the Giants locker room with his teammates due to his strong work ethic. Coleman has appeared to put behind him whatever off-field issues may have plagued him in the past with the Cleveland Browns, Buffalo Bills, and New England Patriots. After the Giants’ win against the 49ers, Beckham name-dropped Coleman.

“We played well in all three phases,” Beckham told Steve Young and the Monday Night Football crew after the 49ers win, via ESPN. “Honestly, Corey Coleman ran some nice kick returns to get us into good field position. We kind of ran into problems starting drives with a penalty on the kickoff.”

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